It looks like more bad news for Donald Trump. His spokesperson sued the House January 6 Select Committee in December claiming that it had no authority to issue subpoenas for the ex-president’s bank records. A federal judge had other ideas.
The ex-president’s bank had already released Trump’s financial records to the Select Committee, but the former president wanted them returned. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, who had been appointed by President Barack Obama, denied the spokesperson’s request. He said that the Constitution forbade courts from giving Congress orders.
Boasberg released a statement that read, according to The Hill:
‘There really is no question that this Court has no jurisdiction to order Congress under the Speech or Debate Clause to return documents that it has received.’
JPMorgan Chase’s subpoena was sealed. But the Select Committee’s spokesperson said that the Committee issued the November subpoena in the belief that the Trump spokesperson directed $200,000 to Stop the Steal, a nonprofit entity. This was directly prior to the January 6 failed coup.
Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich released an email statement to The Hill. He claimed that he filed the lawsuit to find out whether a “partisan Congress” had limits against a private citizen:
‘As I have said since day one, the challenge I have brought forward is not merely about me or my personal bank records—besides a tendency to impulse buy on Instagram, there is little of interest to be found. Instead, it’s to answer the important question: are there any limitations preventing a partisan Congress from infringing on the rights and privacies of American citizens?’
Budowich’s statement continued:
‘After complying with this illegitimate committee, they know I have done nothing wrong. Yet, they are still weaponizing their power against their political opponents in such a way that should be chilling to every American. Regardless of where this case ends, the political pendulum will continue to swing and the Republican wave that is set to sweep the Midterms will look to this decision to inform its actions.’
Attorney for Budowich, Christopher Dempsey, said during the hearing Thursday he would discuss the issue with his client.
The Select Committee’s Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MI) wrote to Budowich:
‘According to information provided to the Select Committee and press reports, you solicited a 501(c)(4) organization to conduct a social media and radio advertising campaign to encourage people to attend the rally held on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021, in support of then-President Trump and his allegations of election fraud.’
The judge’s ruling came shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled against Trump eight to one. That suit attempted to forbid the Select Committee from seeing White House documents currently held in the National Archives.
Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison was the attorney for JPMorgan Chase. She appeared at the lawsuit hearing virtually.
The judge set January 27 as the next hearing to reevaluate the case.
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